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Newsroom / 5/23

May 23, 2018

York Middle School students Daniel Cammarota, Anna Cohen, Cameron Dalton, Connor D’Aquila and Caitlin Edminster will be among American high school and middle school students from all 50 states and U.S. territories participating and competing in the 2018 National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland this June.

The 10-minute long middle school documentary the students created is titled “The Dog Days of Summer” and reveals the conflicts and compromises surrounding the Russo-Japanese War and the significant roles of Theodore Roosevelt and the local community in accomplishing the Portsmouth Peace Treaty. Other York Middle School state competitors were Eric Cunnington and Margaret Hanlon.

“Creating an entry for the National History Day Contest requires keen analytical thinking and assessment of historical sources,” said National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “Participants spend countless hours researching and examining sources for credibility and accuracy. These are skills that help them in all aspects of life, especially life as an active member of a democratic society.”

Established in 1974 NHD is sponsored in part by HISTORY, Jostens, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Park Service, Southwest Airlines, the Joe Weider Foundation, and the WEM 2000 Foundation of the Dorsey & Whitney Foundation. For more information, visit

Latest NEH in the News

Posted: June 20, 2018 Duluth Students Take First Place at National History Day Contest
Fox 21 Online

Two Duluth students won first place in the Junior Group Exhibit category at the national finals for the National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland, College Park on June 14.

Colin McShane and Chase Baumgarten took the top prize with their project titled, The U.S. Government vs. the Reserve Mining Company: A Compromise of Environment and Industry.

Both students attend Stella Maris Academy – St. John’s Campus in Duluth and received a $1,000 cash prize sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the title of NEH Scholar.

Contest officials say that more than half a million students from all 50 states, and some international schools, competed in this year’s contest.

“The National History Day Contest requires intensive research and analytical thinking skills,” said National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “Each student involved in the competition spends countless hours researching, writing, and editing. Only the top projects make it to the National Contest and it requires a truly superb entry to win. These students should be proud of this accomplishment.”

National History Day is a nonprofit organization based in College Park that seeks to improve the teaching and learning of history.

Posted: June 20, 2018 East Haddam Student Awarded At National History Day Contest
The Haddams Patch

Last week, 66 students represented Connecticut at the prestigious 2018 National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland. Having won statewide competitions, they joined more than 3,000 students from the U. S. and overseas to compete at the national level.

According to a news release, high school and middle school students wrote papers, created exhibits, produced documentaries, designed websites and staged performances Inspired by the theme "Conflict & Compromise in History," exploring topics ranging from discrimination and child labor to women's rights.

Mia Porcello, from St. Timothy's School in West Hartford, was selected to attend the June 13 National Endowment for the Humanities Day on the Hill event. She journeyed to Capitol Hill with 20 other National History Day Contestants to meet with her members of Congress and tour the U.S. Capitol.

Posted: June 20, 2018 Live 765: Robots, a modern opera, coming to Delphi this weekend
Journal & Courier

The Delphi Opera House has not actually staged an opera since the first — and only — production back in 1882, when the Litta Opera Company from Chicago performed. The stage is not very large, said Brosman, which might make a full-scale production difficult to accommodate. “Robots,” however, is set in a classroom and is a single set, making it perfect for the venue.

“It deals with elementary students; the message and delivery are simple,” she said. “It works for us and works for the show.”

The cast is small — only 11 members — and there is no orchestra, only a piano.

The opera is part of the Red Brick Theatre series, a collaboration between the Delphi Opera House and the Delphi Public Library, and is funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of the Indiana Humanities’ One State/One Story: Frankenstein. Organizations around the state received stipends and books promoting the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein.”

Posted: June 19, 2018 Dresden students place second in National History Day competition
Zanesville Times Recorder

Dresden students, Sylvie Devore and Haley Rutan, came in second in the Junior Group Website division of last week’s National History Day competition.

Devore and Rutan developed a website in reference to The Indian Removal Act: Conflict, Compromise, and Displacement of the Five Civilized Tribes.

Sofia Fish and Azalea Rohr, of Sanford Middle School in Minneapolis, Minnesota, won the category with a website on the Great Lakes Great Legacy?: The Compromise of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.

More than a half-million students around the world entered the contest at the local level, with the top entries advancing to state/affiliate contests.

The top two entries in each category were invited to the National Contest at the University of Maryland, College Park. Competitors represented the 57 affiliate members, including every state, Washington, D.C., American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and international schools in South Korea, South Asia, and China. More than 3,000 middle and high school students presented documentaries, exhibits, papers, performances, and websites related to the 2018 theme Conflict & Compromise in History.

First-place entries in the junior and senior division’s five categories of documentary, exhibit, paper, performance, and website are given the title, “National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Scholar” and receive a $1,000 award sponsored by NEH, while second and third-place entries in all categories receive $500 and $250, respectively.

Posted: June 19, 2018 Optical scanning technology used to restore wax recordings of indigenous languages
Tech Xplore

A team of researchers at UC Berkeley has embarked on a project to save wax recordings made a century ago using modern technology—they are calling it the "Documenting Endangered Languages" initiative. As they describe in a post they have made on the UC Berkeley Library website, the group has plans to use optical scanning technology to retrieve the recordings and then to save them in digital format.

The recordings were made using the Edison phonograph (some in 1900 and some in 1938) and are part of a collection of recordings of indigenous people speaking, singing or praying. The recordings were made by anthropologists interested in studying the languages spoken by in California. The subjects sang or spoke into the wide-open end of a megaphone connected to a device that recorded the sounds onto wax cylinders. Those cylinders now reside at Berkeley's Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology. Over time, the cylinders have degraded or have been damaged in other ways. In this new effort, which is part of a larger effort called Project IRENE, the team plans to transfer those songs or spoken words from the wax cylinders to digital media to preserve them.

The optical scanning method used by the group was developed by a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and is based on a chromatic confocal microscope. It works by taking very precise measurements of the as it rotates. The measurements are then used to create a three-dimensional map of the cylinder. Another computer is used to read the maps and specially designed software converts it to sound. In addition to recovering sound from the cylinders, the software can also filter noise.

The initiative is being sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The goal is to transfer and preserve approximately 100 hours of audio representing 78 indigenous languages, many of which no longer exist. Retrieving them from the cylinders, the researchers note, is the only way to preserve them. They report that some of the results will be made available online. Others, will not, however, as they represent culturally sensitive material.